Novak Djokovic wants to convince you that it's going to be hard work, not an easy draw, that pulls him into the Wimbledon men's final in a fortnight.
"Some people would say I was lucky with the draw," the world number one and 2011 champ said. "But it's a Grand Slam, so I don't think there is any easy way to the title."
Puh-leeze. Nole is the only Top Five player in his half of the draw. His toughest opponent is the 35-year-old German Tommy Haas, seeded and ranked 13th, whom he wouldn't meet until the fourth round.
Let me pause here, though, to say I'll be looking forward to that match, and rooting for the old guy. Haas is seeing a late bloom on the rose bush of his career. He upset Djokovic in the 4th round in Miami, the third oldest to beat a Number 1 since August 23, 1973, when the ATP rankings began. His other two wins in his 3-5 record against Djokovic came in 2009, at Wimbledon and at Halle, another grass court tournament. If Nole is feeling over confident, or is tested at all by, possibly, American big server Ryan Harrison or Jeremy Chardy in a third round, Haas could slip through.
Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal gets to make Roger Federer's life miserable in a likely quarterfinals matchup, while Wimby runner up and Olympic gold medalist Andy Murray could see trouble in Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in their section's quarters.
Don't tell me Djokovic wasn't high-fiving everyone in his camp when he saw his draw.
As I write, Roger Federer opened the tournament by calmly dispatching Romania’s Victor Hanescu in straight sets, 63, 62, 60. There was no sign of any sweat as he pulled his bandana off his head following match point. All in a day's work, folks.
On the women's side, who is likely to beat world number one and defending champ Serena Williams? Except, maybe, herself. Serena stirred up a bunch of grass clippings coming into Wimbledon with her thoughtless musings on the Steubenville rape case and Maria Sharapova while in earshot of a reporter for Rolling Stone.
"Do you think it was fair, what they got?" she said, referring to the two high school football players who were convicted of raping a drunk 16-year-old girl while others watched and texted the details. "They did something stupid, but I don't not. I'm not blaming the girl, but if you're a 16-year-old and you're drunk like that, your parents should teach you: Don't take drinks from other people."
Ugh. And then there was her end of a phone conversation with sister Venus, in which she appeared to be talking about Sharapova, who's dating a guy Serena used to date.
"She begins every interview with, 'I'm so happy, I'm so lucky' -- it's so boring," Serena sniped. "She's still not going to be invited to the cool parties. And, hey, if she wants to be with the guy with a black heart, go for it."
According to the New York Times, Serena said she approached Sharapova at one of those cool parties (it had to be cool, Serena was invited), last Thursday's WTA pre-Wimbledon soiree, to apologize in person.
"I said: ‘Look, I want to personally apologize to you if you are offended by being brought into my situation. I want to take this moment to just pour myself, be open, say I’m very sorry for this whole situation.’ ”
IF Maria was offended? I suspect she was. In her pre-Wimby media interview, she took a swipe at Serena's relationship with coach Patrick Mouratoglou.
"If she wants to talk about something personal, maybe she should talk about her relationship, and her boyfriend that was married, and is getting a divorce and has kids,” Sharapova hissed.
Oooh, cat fight! Let's hope they get a chance to settle the score with their racquets, on Centre Court, in the final. That's where Serena and Maria would meet, as they are on opposite sides of the draw.
In first round news, fifth-seed Sara Errani was bounced by Monica Puig of Puerto Rico in straight sets, 63, 62. It was Puig's first match on grass as a pro.
Sports Illustrated sums up the Tennis Hate for Errani, the runner-up in the 2012 French Open and a semi-finalist in three of the last five Grand Slams:
The loss marked another humbling Wimbledon exit for Errani.
Last year, the Italian went an entire set without winning a point in losing 6-0, 6-4 in the third round to Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan. Shvedova was the first player in a Grand Slam to achieve a so-called "golden set" by winning 24 straight points.